It's a new year of ballet, and the ballerina finds herself quite eager and prepared:
As the girls grow older, it's been such a relief to be able to gradually give up the exhausting chaos of their tiny years (they're 22 months apart, remember? I yawn just thinking about those days...) and, with their help, actually develop a system and an organization for some things that make our lives so much less stressful.
Take the pink ballet uniform, for instance:
The leotard and tights (the same as last year, thank goodness for stretchy fabrics!), get checked over when Syd gets home from class, hand-washed if they need it, and then put back in Sydney's ballet bag. The ballet shoes (brand-new from the dance store, leather shoes are NOT very forgiving) can go straight into the bag. Generally, Sydney isn't permitted to wear her ballet shoes outside--photos are a special occasion.
Sydney isn't permitted to wear her ballet uniform to play in--it was very expensive, and she has plenty of other leotards, some of them nearly identical, to fuel her at-home ballet daydreams--and so being permitted to run around outside in full uniform, near a fountain, no less(!), was pretty fun:
Being basically the butchest mom on the planet, the ballerina bun has been one of my biggest fears for a long time. I bit the bullet this year, however, and to my surprise...that damn bun is easier to make than a braid!
I've since decided to skip the netting, since I don't bother to slick the rest of Sydney's hair back with gel and spray, but even so the bun is sturdy and simple and attractive, and I've even begun using it to pull the girls' hair up when I want it out of their faces during the week. Who knew?
It's only since I've seen how easy even getting ready for ballet can be with a child who is organized, capable, and responsible for her own gear that I've begun to feel less bad about sending the girls to Montessori when they were littler with tangled hair, dirty faces, no socks, and lunch eaten in the car on the way there. How on earth did those other parents send neat and tidy small children out into the world every single day, on time and with a hot, healthy lunch in their tummies?
Really, however, my greatest revelations ought to concern how to apply this study in organization to all the other remaining areas of overwhelming chaos in our lives. A gymnastics bag, for instance--we'd know where the gymnastics leotards were even before it was time to get ready to go, and Willow might actually be able to find her gymnastics shorts for a change! And if each girl only wore her gymnastics leotard for gymnastics, then perhaps we'd be spared the desperate search among the play leotards each week to find one that fit for class...
And surely there is some sort of simple way to fix a child's hair so that the dratted ponytail doesn't dig into her skull during forward rolls?